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Blueberry Universe Shorts

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Chris returned to the bedroom and sat on the edge of the bed, handing a warm black mug to the other occupant before settling, cross legged, in the centre while nursing his own mug of cocoa.

Rydell, no, Damian, took a sip and huddled a little further against the headboard. They were both in their underwear, Damian in a thumb-hole muscle shirt and standard issue boxers and Chris in a loose fitting Academy T-shirt and patterned boxers covered in little white stars. It was the most exposed to each other they had been since Damian came to his quarters a week ago, apologising for his outburst on the bridge.

In truth, Chris didn’t yet know if this was a good idea. The imbalance of power alone was making his head spin, let alone their over a dozen year age difference.

“You’re nervous,” Damian said quietly.

Chris huffed out an awkward chuckle. “Yeah, a little,” he admitted, taking a sip of his drink. “Kat Cornwell is going to have my head when she finds out.”

“That we…” Damian trailed off, blushing. He didn’t blush like Chris did, his darker skin hiding the telltale rush of blood, but Chris could see the way he bit the inside of his lip and ducked his head slightly, eyes shifting briefly down and to the side before snapping back to attention. It was…it was beautiful.

Chris reached out before he realised what he was doing, first to cup Damian’s jaw but his hand dropped as his courage drained and instead gripped one fine boned wrist. This was ridiculous, he thought. We’re about to…and I can’t even…

They had spent the last week in a state of almost. Almost touching, almost kissing, almost everything, and it was driving Chris mad.

Damian’s fingers threaded through his own. “Christopher?” He said, and Chris could hear a hint of fear edging his voice. “I…before we…”

Chris ran his thumb over the back of Damian’s hand, quiet but urging.

Damian swallowed. “When I said I’d never been with anyone before,” he said. “I meant with…in any way.”

“I know, Dami. We’ll go slow.”

“No, I…I mean,” Damian glanced up, looking at Chris through the dark hair that fell over his eyes. “Cap…Christopher, I’ve never done anything before. Sitting here holding your hand is the…is the most intimate thing I’ve ever done with anyone.”

The younger man took a breath, his head falling so his chin was almost against his chest. “I’ve never even been kissed,” he mumbled, embarrassed.

Chris felt another surge of courage at Damian’s admission and leaned across the mattress, lifting the hand holding Damian’s to finally touch his jaw, fingertips barely grazing the other man’s smooth skin before he urged Damian to lift his head.

Their lips touched, hesitant at first, but then Damian’s hand came up and touched his chest first; then nervously slid over Chris’ own jaw and further up, fingers curling lightly into the hair on the back of his head.

It was unhurried, their bodies slowly coming together the longer the kiss went on until Chris opened his eyes and realised they were tangled together, their mugs discarded on the nightstand.

Chris pulled away, eyes closed as he rested his forehead against Damian’s for a moment before he pulled away completely. “How…” he swallowed, realising that his courage had disappeared once more and nervousness was lining his belly.

Damian was breathing hard, flushed, and Chris realised that there was something hard pressing against his thigh. Damian must have realised Chris had discovered his arousal and something shameful flickered in those big dark eyes, quickly hidden when Damian’s face buried in his shoulder.

Chris rubbed his back, kissing the top of his head. “It’s okay,” he soothed. “It means we’re doing something right.”

Damian nodded, still embarrassed. “I don’t…feel like this a lot,” he admitted.

Chris filed that away for later. Damian was a healthy, fit young man but appeared to be almost shocked by his body’s arousal…something about that didn’t seem right.

They laid like that for some time, his lips pressed against Damian’s scalp, nose buried in the gossamer soft raven hair that smelled like cinnamon and peppermint as his hand rubbed soothing lines up the younger man’s spine.

“Do you want to stop?” He asked eventually, after he realised Damian hadn’t moved for several minutes. His own erection had flagged, though he knew he could quickly get it back again if Damian wanted to continue.

Damian didn’t reply, and Chris didn’t wait for Damian to convince himself that he wanted to do this.

“Alright,” Chris pulled away, but Damian’s hand gripped the front of his shirt and pulled him back, lips against his and hand coming back to tangle in his hair. Instinct kicked in and his hand dropped, first to grip the other man’s hip before his fingers slid under the fabric of Damian’s boxers.

He felt Damian go rigid and pulled away, almost scrambling to the other side of the mattress and sitting on his knees as he watched Damian curl in on himself, flushed and embarrassed.

“I’m sorry,” Damian managed. “I don’t…we should stop. You deserve someone who…who knows what they’re doing.”

Chris frowned and reached over to grip Damian’s wrist before the Ensign could pull another disappearing act. “Everyone has a first time, Damian,” he said. “We don’t have to rush, we’ll take this as slow as you need to.”

“I don’t know what to do,” Damian said eventually, and Chris knew that it was hard for Damian to admit. The Ensign was quickly becoming a rising star in the Command Training Program on Enterprise, always one step ahead of his class. “Is…is sex always like this? My brain is…it feels like it’s empty.”

Chris snorted, earning a confused look. “All the blood has gone somewhere else,” he said.

“Where?” Damian asked, and then blushed and almost immediately said, “oh. There.”

“Yes, there,” Chris chuckled, shifting closer. He kissed the furrow that had appeared between Damian’s eyebrows and smiled when it disappeared. “Don’t they have Sex-Ed in England?”

Damian shrugged. “I was in and out of school for science debates and soccer matches so much I must have missed it,” he replied. “Christopher?”

Chris tilted his head, watching Damian’s eyes skitter around before settling on the faded letters on Chris’ shirt.

“Show me what to do?” The younger man said finally, voice barely above a whisper.

Chris kissed him, cradling Damian’s face with both his hands before pushing him gently into the mattress and smiled when he felt Damian press against him.

-

Chris woke slowly, muscles warm and sore in all the right ways, his mind still full of cotton as he was pulled out of his slumber by his internal clock telling him to get up and ready for his shift.

He shifted, shuffling almost unconsciously towards the other occupant of the bed as his arm wrapped around that narrow waist. He pressed a kiss to the base of Damian’s neck and hummed. “G’morning,” he mumbled, as they slotted together like the pieces of a puzzle.

He didn’t quite hear Damian’s reply, though perhaps it never came as he drifted back into sleep. For once, he was content to stay exactly where he was and forget the rest of the ship.

If even for a moment.

Chapter Text

Phil Boyce woke with a start and glared at his beeping communicator, wondering who was comming him at this ungodly hour.

When it didn’t stop beeping, he freed his arm from the sheets and grabbed it from his nightstand.

“Boyce,” he grumbled

“It’s me,” Damian Rydell replied, sounding muffled and jittery. “Can you come to the Captain’s Quarters? He’s thrashing around and won’t wake up. I’ve tried.”

Phil sat up and pushed back the covers, dressing blindly in his discarded uniform as unwarranted thoughts rushed through his mind. Chris had been struggling with nightmares for a long time, but there hadn’t been any recent away missions that would leave him in a state.

Out of the corner of his eye he caught the stardate on his terminal screen. “Shit,” he swore, pulling on his boots. “Fucking hell, Chris.”

He stopped at medical first, collecting a low grade anaesthesia that would knock him out for a few hours of dreamless sleep and a hand held regenerator as he remembered how muffled Damian had sounded on the comm.

The door opened with a hiss as he approached and he could hear Chris’ muffled grunts and shouts from the bedroom. Sitting on the floor outside his door was Damian, in standard issue black briefs and a shirt that was a little too broad in the shoulders. He looked…miserable, holding something against his face that Phil quickly saw was a dish cloth full of ice.

“Did he hit you?” Phil asked.

Damian nodded. “I grabbed his shoulder and he elbowed me in the jaw,” he said. “He didn’t mean it. He’s not even conscious.”

“I know,” Phil sighed. When Chris found out, he was going to be unbearably guilty for weeks. “Help me get him to hold still, I don’t want to stab him in the wrong place with this hypo.”

Damian tossed the ice pack aside and stood. The left side of his jaw was turning purple, and there was some blood dribbling from the corner of his mouth.

Phil mentally congratulated his decision to bring the regenerator, and followed Damian into Chris’ bedroom.

Chris was still asleep, but tensed like he was ready for a fight. The dream wasn’t going to let him go any time soon, Phil realised and nodded to Damian. “Talk to him,” he said. “It might calm him down.”

“You don’t think I’ve tried that?” Damian snapped, and Phil fixed him with a look. “Fine.”

Damian approached, wary. It almost broke Phil’s heart to see the young man so afraid of Chris. Hours ago they were practically trying to crawl into each other’s skin in the back of the rec room while the rest of the officers were glued to the holovid.

“Christopher?” He said, gentle. “It’s Damian, I’m not going to hurt you. I’m here, you’re safe. I promise.”

Chris just seemed to tense further. Whether he couldn’t hear Damian or the dream was twisting the young man’s words into something terrible, Phil didn’t know. “Hold him still so I can get this needle in his neck,” he instructed.

Chris lashed out the moment Damian touched him, and one arm swung wildly and his fist collided with the young man’s nose with a crunch. Phil thrust the needle into Chris’ jugular and pressed down on the plunger as Damian reeled back and clutched his likely broken nose with a groan and a shout of “fucking hell!”

Chris went lax almost immediately, muscles slack and pliant as Phil tucked him back into bed and pulled Damian out of the bedroom.

“He broke my nose,” Damian muttered nasally, blood dripping from between his fingers. “He broke my fucking nose.”

“It’s the anniversary of Rigel VII,” Phil told him, forcing Damian to sit on one of the chairs in Chris’ kitchenette. He pulled out the regenerator and forced Damian to move his hand. “I should have told him to take something before going to sleep. Don’t blame him for this, please? His last partner…well.”

Damian looked at him, miserable. Phil was prepared to beg Damian not to leave because of this, and then he realised that this was about something else. “He doesn’t talk to me,” Damian said after a moment. “I knew something was wrong today but…”

“He’s not good at talking,” Phil explained. “And it’s only been six months since you two started whatever this is. Give him time.”

Phil checked to make sure the regenerator was knitting the soft cartilage of Damian’s nose back together in the right shape. He knew there’d be a lot of angry ensigns who’d crucify his ass if he ruined their favourite Lieutenant’s nose.

Damian stared at him for a long moment. “What happened on Rigel VII?” He asked, almost hesitant.

Phil blinked. “He hasn’t told you?”

“I just told you he doesn’t tell me anything.”

“You didn’t say he hasn’t told you anything,” Phil replied. “I wasn’t there, but it was…bad. They were holed up in a fortress on another planet and-well. Chris was one of the only survivors. It broke him, he almost left Starfleet because of it.”

“When?”

“Three years ago,” Phil answered, moving the regenerator node to Damian’s jaw. “Don’t worry about kicking his ass about this because I will.”

“I’ll…” Damian frowned, rubbing his jaw as Phil pulled the node away. “What do I do? Until six months ago I never would have thought I’d be in a relationship. How do I talk to him?”

Phil blinked. “Be honest,” was all the advice he could give. “Don’t let him pull rank. If you’re going to be in a relationship with the Captain, you’re going to need to learn to hold your ground when he tries to use his rank to avoid uncomfortable situations. Call him on his bullshit and remember that when you’re not on duty you’re on equal ground.”

Damian swallowed noticeably, and Phil put his hand on the younger man’s shoulder. “Look at me,” he said, stern. Damian’s near-black eyes met his own, unwavering. Most people would have bolted by now, left Chris to deal with his nightmares on his own and pretend the last few months never happened. He'd seen it happen before.

But Damian was still here, terrified but unwavering. He’ll be a great Captain someday, Phil realised. “If he won’t listen, tell him what he did to you. He’ll be unbearable for a couple of weeks but at least you’ll have enough leverage to get him to sit still and tell you about Rigel VII. And ask about Talos IV, while you’re at it.”

“Alright,” Damian replied. “Can I go back to bed? With him?”

Phil nodded and squeezed his shoulder. “I’ll put you both on medical leave tomorrow,” he said. “I'll be back tomorrow to fix the rest of those bruises. Sleep well.”

“I’ll try,” Damian gave a half-smile. “Thank you, Dr Boyce.”

“Call me Phil. You’re important to him, kid, and that means you’re important to me too.”

-

Chris normally woke with Damian pressed against him in some way, and as sleep unclogged his tired mind he realised the bed was cold. He opened his eyes, twisting in the sheets, and spotted Damian sitting at the end of the bed.

"Hey," Chris called, gentle. "Come back to bed. We still have time before-"

"We're on medical leave for the day," Damian interrupted, not looking at him. "Phil said we need to talk."

"Why would he-" Chris sat up, confused. "Damian, look at me."

Damian turned slightly and Chris felt his heart drop into his stomach. Damian's jaw was badly bruised, his shirt bloodied and nose a patchwork of blue and black with sunken eyes. He looked like someone had punched him, and Chris felt an ache in his arm and hand. He tore his eyes away from Damian and saw the bruise on his hand as nausea crawled up the back of his throat.

"You were thrashing," Damian told him, turning around fully. "I tried to calm you down and you got me with your elbow."

He gripped Chris' hand, lifting it up to the bruise on his jaw. He flinched slightly, but gripped Chris' hand before he could pull it away. "I'm so sorry," Chris choked. "What about...what about your nose?"

"Phil tried to get me to talk to you when he arrived," Damian explained. "Not his brightest idea. You have one hell of a right hook, broke my nose and ruined my favourite shirt."

Chris' eyes flicked to the blood staining the front of Damian's shirt and swallowed around the lump in his throat. His eyes stung with tears, of shame, of regret, of anger at himself and all he wanted to do was curl up in Damian's arms and forget this morning. Forget Rigel VII and Talos IV.

"Don't worry," Damian carded his fingers through Chris' hair. "I'm still pretty under all the bruises."

"I don't care about that," Chris managed, and buried his face in Damian's shoulder as he felt his chest begin to spasm with barely held back sobs.

Damian's arms went around his shoulders and his lips pressed against his head. "We still need to talk," Damian told him. "We need to start talking, Christopher."

Chapter Text

M4-6G1 rolled over onto her back and stretched out all four limbs to give Damian optimal access to her control panel.

“Good girl,” Damian told her, lifting the plate that protected the sensitive wiring and computer chips from damage with the end of a specialty screw driver. He slotted the tip directly into the battery socket and counted to fifteen, waiting for the series of three small lights on her head unit to go completely dark.

As he did, he felt the frame under his hands go rigid as the magnets holding her together locked into place, effectively turning her into a statue. Satisfied she was entirely shut down, he removed the tip of his screwdriver and returned it to his tool kit.

“What are you doing?”

Damian almost started at the sound of Christopher’s voice close behind him, and twisted around to see his…Captain? Lover? He wasn’t sure yet, sitting behind him on the futon.

“Maintanence,” he replied. “M4-6G1’s back legs have been a half second behind her front ones in her gait cycle when she runs. I think it might just be some stripped wires rubbing together.”

“And you decided to do this in my living room?”

Damian shrugged. “The last time I let the goblins down in Engineering see my robots they wanted to take 4R-50N apart to see what I used as a propellant,” he replied.

He turned back to M4-6G1 and began disassembling the plating over her back hips and lower abdomen, exposing the sensitive wires and nodes that operated, among other things, each of the twelve servos per hind leg, plus the tail for stability and the hips and individual vertibrae in the spine.

Using a pair of repurposed surgical tweezers, he gently picked his way through wires and nodes, mentally listing off what each powered and controlled. So engrossed in his task, he didn’t realise Christopher had slid down from the futon until strong arms wrapped around his waist and lifted him into his lap.

“I’m busy,” he said.

“I won’t bother you,” Christopher promised, hooking his chin over Damian’s shoulder. “Captain’s honour.”

Damian snorted and paused in his work, waiting for Christopher to move his hands or try to move his attention from M4-6G1’s inner mechanics. When he didn’t, Damian moved a bundle of wires that connected the lower section of vertebrae to the lithium core and spotted a burnt node and a series of stripped wires.

As he reached for the anchoring for the network, Christopher’s lips pressed against the angle of his jaw.

“Do you mind?” Damian asked, though his tone lacked any bite.

Christopher only hummed, smiling against Damian’s skin.

Quickly, Damian realised that every time he moved then so did Christopher. The older man’s hands had slid under his shirt, one keeping pressure on his lower abdomen while the other made the slow climb up his chest, fingers tracing patterns over his ribs.

Christopher’s lips peppered along his jaw, down the exposed line of his neck and against the base of his skull. Every so often he stopped and pressed distinctly smug smiles against Damian’s skin.

“Captain’s honour my arse,” Damian muttered, almost ripping the damaged node and wires from their anchors when Christopher pressed his lips against a particularly sensitive spot behind his ear and hummed.

He set the damaged parts aside, then twisted in Christopher’s lap and shoved him bodily back against the futon. “You are a pest, Christopher Pike,” he stated. “A pest.”

“I was letting you work!” Christopher insisted, grinning wide, hands still under Damian’s shirt as they traced patterns up his back.

Damian rolled his eyes and kissed him, almost smiling as Christopher groaned against his lips and leaned into the kiss.

M4-6G1’s internal structure could wait until morning, he decided. Anyway, he’d never get anything done now.